And the wildlife joy doesn’t end at the zoo!

James calls me out to see an amazing feat of engineering–a spiderweb anchored by a free-swinging leaf. The top end of the web is hooked to the rain gutter, but the bottom end is anchored to a fallen poplar leaf that is hanging, suspended by the silk, about a foot above the deck. The weight of the hanging leaf is keeping the otherwise standard web from flying away in the light breeze–it sways a bit, but it doesn’t flip up over the rain gutter as it keeps trying to do. The leaf, hanging below the level of the railing and much heavier, only turns a little, while the web billows like a sail.

We stared at it for a solid minute, trying to figure out how the hell the spider did it. My tentative guess is that the spider had a few long lines going, and was contemplating a web, and the leaf fell and caught one, and the spider shrugged an octupal shrug and used it to anchor the rest of it’s fairly standard spiderwebby web. But it’s bizarre. Unfortunately, the leaf is hanging a good five feet below the web, so photography is fairly useless to show the effect. But it’s really weird.

If the spiders become intelligent, I’m so moving.

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